Shaktis in Nature
There are Shaktis or hidden powers throughout Nature that can help us take our spiritual experiences to a higher level. There are ancient powerful vortexes on Mother Earth where we can connect to its spiraling Shakti forces. Yet without Devi’s anugraha or will of divine grace we are unable to assimilate and nurture this Shakti for our own spiritual growth.
No doubt there are powerful points in cosmic time such as sunrise and sunset, eclipses, and planetary transits, auspicious celebrations which bring to our consciousness the power of Yoga Shakti. In these moments we are able to connect with the electrical forces of the cosmos.
The struggle we all face in life is remaining in a state of tranquil equipoise, even amidst all our worldly stimulation of Maya’s vibrations. Retreating into our sacred space nurtures us from these reverberations. If we are in the flow of divine grace then we are guided by the river of wisdom to seek its quiet ebb. If our prayer and yearning is deep, then we can surrender to our intuitive inner voice which lures us into the divine space of its still waters.
Most of our struggles swell from the mind and not the heart. We need to learn to seek our nestling place within the heart. Only when we lay down in our nesting bed of safety do we open up to divine grace. It is the power of our inner surrender that allows the intensity of the eye or the reassurance of the touch to kindle the innermost tenders of our fire. The divine stoking of these embers, guide us into a space of deep trust and solace.
The Importance of Rituals
Rituals enhance our spiritual practices where we uncover the secrets of divinity through simple and meaningful actions. Most of the time we get lost in the complications of exactly performing the ritual and remain in fear of disappointing the Divine forces. Rituals and Homa or fire ceremonies performed by oneself while being present truly bear fruition for our spiritual well-being. Rituals done with shraddha or inner faith more than mere precision matter more for the harmonizing of the soul.
Rituals must enhance our wellbeing spiritually, emotionally and mentally. It is always interesting if possible to study one’s own expressions during these rituals through photographs or understanding our own body language. Are we serious, tense, constricted in our being or are we in a mode of surrender, elation, ecstasy and divine bhava. It is important to move into the bhava of the ritual and celebrate our Shakti with the ritual, relating to it at the level of the heart and not merely the mind.
Most rituals are performed with a motive in our minds, rarely do we perform sacred rituals or Homa with just a wish from the heart. Rituals must be an offering of the innermost sankalpa into the universe of divinity, only then will we really celebrate and enjoy its Prasada or fruits.
The Beauty of the Ghee Lamp and its Flame
Lighting and tending to a ghee lamp for me personally is a most intimate ritual with the Divine. Over the years the diya lamp has begun to speak to me and relate at a vey personal level. Whenever I sense energies which are in conflict with my being, I light the diya and watch its nature – does it crackle when I light it? What is the color of its flame? Is it struggling to be lit?
Sometimes if I get absorbed in something and forget to fill the oil for the flame, I have noticed my diya continues to light and glow for hours, even without any oil in it. It is a mystical and magical experience for me.
In all dharmic traditions the ritual of lighting the ghee lamp is sacrosanct. The ghee lamp is an offering representing the elements or cosmic principles. The earthen or copper diya lamp is a manifestation of Mother Earth, the ghee represents fire, the smoke represents the air, the sweet essence of the burning ghee manifests as ether, and the colours of the flame represent our Maya. Yet the wick manifests as jnana or wisdom in its ability to illumine.
This wick in the diya is most important in understanding the Shakti of Light. The wick needs to be nurtured or else the light extinguishes. One is taught by the preceptor to nurture, comprehend, experience and realize this knowledge, which means that we cannot light the lamp in the heart without great care, respect, consideration and deep serenity. This inner light only burns in stillness and harmony. If the winds of our outer mind, senses and emotions are blowing strong, that light will quickly go out, if we can light it at all.
Jai Maa Guru!
Yogini Shambhavi Devi